I Have a Gripe

July 8, 2011

The Space Shuttle…the End of an Era

Filed under: Education,United States government — alvb1227 @ 11:32 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Today marked the beginning of the end of an era. The final Space Shuttle launch took place today; 30 years after the first launch.

I was 10 the year of that first launch and I remember thinking how different it looked from what I had seen at school or in books. That it looked like a regular airplane to me. I remember not changing for gym the day the Challenger exploded on takeoff and we watched the television with the rabbit ears a teacher rolled in from another classroom. It was the first time I understood the sacrifice involved with being an astronaut.

For decades Americans were fascinated with the space race. It also sparked an increased an interest in math and science by students across the nation. Now that wasn’t anywhere close to my thing, but it inspired students to excel in math and science so they could be a part of “the space race;” something new, and a way to show your love of country.

Now? The Space Shuttle Atlantis embarked on its 12 day journey. The last after 30 years. Now, we will hitch a ride with the Russians. Yes, the Russians we raced against. The race where we lost the battle of the first person in space, but won the war of getting to the Moon first. The federal government wants our students to excel at math and science, but without a major program from NASA, like the Space Shuttle, what are we focusing on as our next great exploration? What great goal are we working towards as a nation? What brings us together as one? The space race was it. What’s next?

 

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